A lot of led fixture question

Discussion in 'Aquarium Lighting By Dana Riddle' started by me & my baby, Jan 28, 2018.

  1. me & my baby

    me & my baby Active Member

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    I see so many people adding so many led fixtures over there tank and I don’t understand why . I asked about lighting help for a new tank . It’s 72 x19x20 and I had someone say put 6 hydra 26 hd and T5 over it . What I don’t get is If I was going MH I would just put 3 250 Phoenix 14ks over it with two actinic. I would never put six . Are leds just that inadequate?
     
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  2. Daltrey

    Daltrey Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I would say the Ford F150 is the best selling truck for a reason and that's why I drive one.

    I work for Toyota but a Tundra or Tacoma will never be the best selling truck. Neither will Chevy or any other make or model.

    Now that we can all agree on who makes the best selling truck let's just skip the whole discussion on which lights are the best. Thanks

    To those running mh they are the best. To those running t5 they are the best. To those running led they are the best. To those running hybrid they are the best. I say just buy what you think is the best.

    Having used all of them I know which are the best. ******* are and always will be the best. I would say ******are probably a close second.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
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  3. JimFuller

    JimFuller Member Build Thread Contributor

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    LEDS are expensive at the start. They have some advantages over the long run in operational costs.

    There are some that like the T5 /LED hybrid lighting. Due the not liking the shimmer and extra unit cost for LED alone.

    I use 4 Al HD Primes on my 75 Gallon 48" tank. You might wish to look at three Hydra 52 or four Hydra 26 for your tank depending on bracing.

    I personally like LEDS, but like everyone else it is a personal choice. Your millage may vary.

    20180127_162631.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
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  4. Ergodyne

    Ergodyne Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    You had asked how many of a specific LED it would take for a specific group of coral in a specific shape of tank to thrive.
    There are only so many right answers to a question. We don't always get the answers we want.

    If halides are your jam, then spread it.

    You were given sound advice for achieving your goals with LED's.
    They can be very powerful, but they do not get the spread that other forms of lighting can achieve without really nice lenses, and even then you're looking at shading from fewer source points for your light. That's just physics.
    This is why people are really big fans of running a couple T5"s along side. They have amazing spread.
    That being said running just T5 is also a great option.

    Hope this helps, best of luck and happy reefing!
     
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  5. Ranjib

    Ranjib Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    LEDs give a better pop , hence folks mix LEDs with MH or T5s.
    Individual LEDs by themselves are not that powerful (in terms of wattage) and they provide a narrow band of spectrum. For these reasons, multiple LEDs (diodes as some folks say) are combined (sometimes of different spectrums) to give better wattage and better spectrum blending. The challenge with this becomes their spread, which is why most LED only setup for larger tanks will have multiple of these pucks or fixtures mounted on them (to give better spread)

    Other than this two primary reason, there is a third reason, ease of dimming. Most LEDs are relatively easy to dim, so its popular in hybrid setup to start and end the lighting schedule with LEDs and have t5 or MH turning on in-between.
     
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  6. A. grandis

    A. grandis Valuable Member

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    LEDs aren't "inadequate" per say. There is more to artificial lighting then just a label or a statement.
    I've learned some here, believe me!!!
    Experiences and observation can tell you a lot, and a good plan for that particular system will help you too!
    The point is that every artificial light source will play a different role and will need to be addressed accordingly, for obvious reasons.
    They all have their limits and own qualities. You need to consider all aspects and choose what you want.
    You need to look at them and figure out what you want for your particular application.

    My opinion?
    I would say that you probably wouldn't absolutely need some MH systems over that tank due to it's depth, and a T5 only system would be great! If you want MHs/T5s that would be fine too! They would make it look amazing!
    Others would prefer their LEDs and will advice you on that.
    Bottom line is that we all look into it in different ways and with our preferences.
    I just happen to be a MH/T5 kinda guy. ;)
    I agree with Daltrey when he says to skip the whole discussion on which lights are the best.
    I think a bit of extra search is aways the way to go in order to determinate what suits you best.
    There are way too many threads like this one already. I think many of us are getting tired of it.
    It's aways exciting to build a new system. Enjoy!!!
    Grandis.
     
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  7. Bpb

    Bpb Valuable Member

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    A hydra 26 doesn’t emit the same blanket of light that a large halide reflector does. That is why you need more of them to get comparable coverage. It’s not even about spectrum anymore or pure horsepower. It’s about the physics of photons and how they are distributed
     
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  8. me & my baby

    me & my baby Active Member

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    Think about it , a hydra 26hd isn’t much smaller then a hair pendent or even the the metal halide fixture . I guess I really don’t understand the physics of photons and how they are distributed . I just don’t see how you would need as twice the led fixture as one halide . Or could it be since we can control them that we are able to get almost 100% coverage over the whole tank . So is it we have actual need that many lights .
     
  9. Daltrey

    Daltrey Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    When I ran MH over a 240 the problem became heat. So then I also needed to run a chiller. Then once a year or sooner I needed to replace the bulbs with an annual cost of $225. There was no ramping so it was 750 watts for 8 to 10 hours with a chiller that was pulling another 5 amps or close to 1000 watts. So 1750 watts. Yes your electric meter is going to spin wide open and you are going to pay a premium.

    Even though my radions consume 150 watts each they were never ran at 100% so maybe 100 watts x 3 with no need for a chiller. The problem is they are a point source and there will be shading. So to help with that I run two t5 ho fixtures on the outside at 80 watts apiece. With an annual bulb replacement cost of $45. There is also much less heat and now I can get rid of the chiller which is just another point of failure and upkeep. So now we are looking at 380 watts vs 1750.

    They will all grow corals but of course 1000 watts of light will perform better than 380. It basically comes down to how much do you want to spend monthly and annually.

    My build thread for a 6 foot tank.

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/daltreys-red-sea-reefer-750-xxl-build.351366/
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
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  10. John3

    John3 Well-Known Member

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    It’s all about how the light is spread. The led lights with “puck” style arrays mix the colors well but don’t spread the light as much which leads to some shadowing issues.that is why more of these are normally usd. LED lights where the leds are all spread out have color blending issues but light the area a little more even. These lights are notorious for disco ball issues.

    Where I see the biggest advantage with certain leds is being able to control all the colors independently. No need to add different bulbs, or even worry about if a bulb has gotten weak. There is a greater sense of consistency with the lighting to me.

    That said everyone has their favorite setup and they all work one way or another.
     
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  11. Bpb

    Bpb Valuable Member

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    Well just think about the line of sight principle. Photons only ever move in a straight line. Coming from diodes in a puck with hemispherical optics like a hydra, radion, Orphek, or kessil they will travel outward 180 degrees from that point. There will be some reflection from the glass but the majority of the light source is coming from that small point. Ignore the fixture size. The plastic surrounding the puck isn’t generating light.

    Exhibit B, a quality metal halide pendent (such as a lumenmax elite, Hamilton cayman or Cozumel sun, lumenarc). Your actual bulb element that generates light is fairly small. About 1”x3/4”. But as the photons move in a straight line, 360 degrees from the point of origin, they strike flat, highly reflective surfaces, and are redirected at several angles, and on a big pendant that one bulb is essentially turned into a dozen or more nearly identical light sources, spread out over a large area, pointing at the tank from several directions. That is the reason you have less shading of branching corals under a pendant vs an led puck.

    Not all halide pendants are created equally though. Sure I’d put 3-250 watt Hamilton Cozumel sun fixtures (reflective surface of 24”x24” over a 180 gallon tank and have pretty good even coverage. Would I put 3 Bimini sun fixtures over it? With a whopping 6”x5” reflective surface? No. Would a cheap current, coralife, or oddysea combo fixture with a essentially just little 3”x4” bulb sockets suffice with the same amount? No. Then they start to behave more like kessils. Great shimmer. Good lateral spread. But hot spotting and poor blanket coverage with photons striking the corals and tank from several directions.

    Hope that helps
     
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  12. me & my baby

    me & my baby Active Member

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    That was probably the best explanation I have gotten thank you
     
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  13. tdileo

    tdileo Valuable Member

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    Not contributing much to your question, but I do have a recommendation. You don’t need that specific light unless it’s the one you really want and think is best for you and your system. You could buy something like SBReefLights, Maxspect Razor or ReefBreeders, which are long designs rather than the little squares/rectangles of something like Hydras or Radions. I use SB on my 90 and I absolutely love them. Everything looks happy and has great color. I still need to give it a bit longer before I start moving my more expensive and beautiful acros over but I have no doubt they will look and grow great under them.
     
  14. mtraylor

    mtraylor Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Well I don't know the background of what you are talking about, but I will chime in on what you have presented to see if I can help. If you or whomever decided that they wanted a lighting system for say sps (I only say sps because of the recommendation) and the light of choice was Hydra 26's. Then that was a poor decision for the application. SPS require more PAR then most corals. Since the selected light in the title is only a 90watt light, it will not emit enough PAR for SPS. This is not getting into the optics and spread of light either .....etc. etc. Thus you will have to have more to make up for the poor choice, even though the tank is not very deep. So the recommendation is right on point with the light choice in my best guess. You got a pretty accurate recommendation. It would be like choosing 100W MH's if you could get such a thing. You would need more than 3 for SPS.

    Now say you picked up more adequate lights for the chore (sps theme) say 3 Radion G4's or 3 Mitras 7206's then you would not have an issue growing anything and they will be LED fixtures that you can compare apples to apples to say a 250MH with supplements. If you are an early reefer, then PAR meter is a good thing to compare lights with. Season Reefers may only use their corals to tell them what PAR is needed and if they need more light or an adjustment. So if you want 3 pendants then get one of the of recommendations I have posted above, or you can also get 3 kessels to hang light pendants as well. I will let the kessel users chime in there.

    I hope this helps and its not intended to bash any light manufacturer or anything. Just trying to help you understand LED's. Now if I"m off base with what you were needed lights for, then that's another story. LOL.

    Say you just want lights for say fish only then maybe 3 hydra 26's is all you need.
     
  15. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    I have never tested both, but I would opine that a pair of Hydra 26s are less output than a 150W 14K Phoenix on a good reflector. Power is another factor along with the spread.
     
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  16. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    I have never tested both, but I would opine that a pair of Hydra 26s are less output than a 150W 14K Phoenix on a good reflector. Power is another factor along with the spread.
     
  17. mtraylor

    mtraylor Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Yeah you cant compare a hydra 26 with a 250MH. No way!
     
  18. NS Mike D

    NS Mike D Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    BRS compared the new phillips led lights (not available in the US yet) to the ATIs T-5 . With the diffuser screen, the philips leds spreads was evenly dispersed and very close to phillps par and spectrum wavelengths but to my surprise they used about the same power.

    that appears to indicate that if you build leds with a layout that addresses the light concentration and disco ball issues of LEDs to closely mimic T5s, the energy efficiency you'd expect with LEDs may not be there.
     
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  19. olecaptainj

    olecaptainj Active Member

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    If I recall correctly, Sanjay Joshi runs double the amount of Radion g4 fixtures compared to mh fixtures he used to run.
     
  20. NS Mike D

    NS Mike D Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    fwiw, watts and LEDs is a meaningless number.

    also, if you don't have access to a PAR meter, most reliable manufacturers will post PAR mappings to give you an idea what to expect in your tank.
     
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